Healthcare: More to Kleenex than flu season

The Kleenex PR calendar is driven by two key seasons - cold and flu in the winter, and hay fever in the spring and summer.

Bless you: Kleenex is positioning itself as an expert hay fever voice
Bless you: Kleenex is positioning itself as an expert hay fever voice

Campaign Kleenex Hay Fever 2009
Client Kleenex
PR team Mandate
Timescale April-July 2009
Budget £45,000

In recent years the brand has focused on driving tissue consumption during the cold and flu season, and has not previously invested significant budgets in hay fever.

As Kleenex tissues are not a remedy for hay fever, being seen as a credible commentator can be difficult for the brand in a crowded marketplace.

Objectives

  • To position Kleenex pocket packs of tissues as a must-have item for the hay fever season
  • To position Kleenex as a credible commentator on hay fever
  • To increase pocket sales by ten per cent year on year.

Strategy and plan

Mandate secured the support of a renowned hay fever expert, Professor Jean Emberlin, and with her created an in-depth authoritative report into hay fever, based on research from a number of audiences.

Media angles from the research were targeted at different publications at different times, to give the campaign more longevity. The report and press releases were sent to all key print, broadcast and online media.

A video feature highlighting the report's findings was also featured on several websites.

Alongside the report, Mandate created the UK's first real-time, interactive hay fever map powered by Twitter. Users added a hash tag to the first part of their postcode and a number between one and five as a scale of how bad their symptoms were. This helped build a national picture of hay fever suffering in real time.

The map was offered exclusively to the London Evening Standard and this helped secure a significant piece in the paper with three brand mentions, as well as the branded real-time map and story on the London Evening Standard's website.

The paper used its own Twitter page to inform users about the map and the story was upgraded to the home page of the site, alongside a link to and picture of the map. Both London freesheets - thelondonpaper and the London Lite - covered the story the same evening.

KleenexMeasurement and evaluation

A total of 120 pieces of coverage were generated including in The Sun, the Daily Star, BBC Radio 2 and Mirror.co.uk. Of this coverage, one third included all key messages - a mention of Kleenex, a mention of the report, a mention of being prepared for hay fever and a mention of tissues being a must-have item for the summer months. Two-thirds mentioned always carrying tissues as part of sufferers' everyday armoury against hay fever.

Results

Kleenex's share in the facial tissue category grew from 44.5 per cent to 46.3 per cent. Research showed campaign awareness reached 60 per cent versus 32 per cent in the previous year. The model of the hay fever report and Twitter map is now being shown to Kleenex teams around the world.

Second Opinion: Caroline Kinsey, Company director, Cirkle Communications

I remember seeing the Kleenex map earlier in the year and genuinely thought then that the campaign had achieved strong cut-through during a key, competitive season for hay fever-related products. The Hay Fever Health Report managed to bring real credibility to the campaign and provided a reason for the national press to take notice. The filming of the feature video for use online was a well thought out addition to the programme.

With the serious messages delivered, the map really worked well to engage consumers online via Twitter and provided much-needed 'local relevance' for achieving strong regional coverage. This is one of the best branded Twitter initiatives I have seen this year and a great coup with the client challenge of coming up with 'a first'.

Mandate achieved an impressive volume of coverage and an ROI of 15:1 helps to quantify the clear value of PR. More importantly, the consumer recall of the campaign underpins the impact of the campaign. This led to strong commercial success by helping to drive nearly two per cent share increase for the already strong brand leader.

I think the emergence of swine flu in April when the campaign kicked off did wonders for tissue sales and boosted overall reporting of carrying tissues, but Mandate's well-planned campaign and media relationships put it in the right place to strengthen these opportunities. Clearly it is well placed for the second wave.

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